Philadelphia Fire Kills 13 Including Children; Prayers Urged

Wednesday, January 5, 2022 | Tag Cloud Tags: , , , ,

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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent

PHILADELPHIA (Worthy News) – A large row house fire in the U.S. city of Philadelphia has killed 13 people, including seven children, prompting the mayor to call for prayers.

“Keep those babies in your prayers,” Mayor Jim Kenney said at a nearby conference about the blaze, which also sent a child and an adult to nearby hospitals. “Losing so many kids is just devastating,” Kenney added.

Officials said none of the four smoke detectors were operating when the fire broke out in the three-story building in the city’s Fairmount neighborhood.

Firefighters and responded to the blaze at around 6:40 a.m. and found flames coming from the second-floor windows, fire officials said.

Firefighters reportedly struggled for 50 minutes to bring the blaze under control.

The house, owned by the local public housing authority, had been converted into two apartments, police said. Television news footage showed ladders propped up against the smoke-blackened front of the house, with all its windows missing.

Holes remained in the roof where firefighters had broken through in a desperate attempt to save the many children and others inside.

“I knew some of those kids — I used to see them playing on the corner,” said Dannie McGuire, 34, fighting back the tears as she and Martin Burgert, 35, stood in the doorway of a home around the corner.

They had lived there for a decade, she said, “and some of those kids have lived here as long as us.” “I can’t picture how more people couldn’t get out — jumping out a window,” she said.

The cause of the fire wasn’t immediately clear, but questions were expected as to why the smoke detectors had failed in the city-owned house.

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